Wednesday, July 23, 2014
James Gandolfini’s will made headlines for the tax implications that his estate planning decisions created. The Soprano’s star left gifts to his sister and daughter totaling 80% of his estate, which was then taxed at 55% in “death taxes.” Here are six lessons learned from Gandolfini’s will:
- Without the public nature of probate, the media craze could not have happened.
- A revocable trust would have been an inexpensive way to keep the process private
- It is not the end of the world if Gandolfini did pay the reportedly high amount of taxes, if his estate went to who he wanted it to.
- There are ways to limit the tax bill, including how Gandolfini left his son $7 million through a life insurance trust.
- It is important to adjust provisions for the age that children will recieve inherited funds based on how responsible and mature they are over time.
- It is important to remember that foreign property may be subject to foreign laws, such as Gandolfini’s Italian property.
See Robert Wood, 6 Estate Planning Lessons from James Gandolfini’s Will, Forbes, July 20, 2014.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.